Roy Halladay’s ugly afternoon: four walks, one grand slam, seven runs, and mid-80s velocity

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Last week when Roy Halladay topped out in the high-80s during his start some people brushed it off because he threw four scoreless innings despite the low velocity.

Today he continued to throw in the 80s and the results weren’t very pretty either. Halladay walked four batters in 2.2 innings, served up two homers–including a grand slam–and worked in the mid-80s with his fastball.

He failed to make it out of the third inning and allowed seven runs overall, hitting a batter and uncorking a wild pitch in addition to the four free passes. (Halladay has walked four or more batters in just three of his 90 regular season starts for the Phillies.)

Todd Zolecki, who has covered the Phillies for MLB.com throughout Halladay’s time in Philadelphia, summed it up: “Never seen him struggle like this before.”

I called our new resident Phillies fan Bill Baer for his thoughts, but I guess he couldn’t hear the phone ringing over his sobbing*.

* Note: Just kidding. I haven’t willingly called someone on the phone in like 10 years. What am I, some kind of monster?

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.